Bonnie Support Services

Bonnie Support Services

An Inside View of a Refuge


“The first week everyone is so happy to get out of (their situation) and then after about a week you get depressed and it hits you, you start feeling alone and what am I doing here, I’m in a refuge, it’s quite degrading… (but) when I started making friends, that was a huge pick-me-up”.

Our Executive Officer found this post about 3 days in a refuge for women and their kids. I particularly liked it because it’s so easy to read, features beautiful illustrations and, most importantly, helped me understand what it must be like to be in crisis accommodation. I love the way it walks through the women’s experience from beginning to end, describing the “at home”, “leaving”, “refuge” and “beyond the refuge” phases of the journey.

As the Administration Officer here at Bonnies I see the everyday events of the refuge occurring before me – but at a distance. This story gave me insight into the conversations, realities, thoughts and feelings occurring within these everyday events, the parts I do not experience. The parts the woman and case workers experience. After reading it, I have closed the distance with a new level of understanding.

No matter how hard we try, women will always have difficult times as they take this leap into a new story.

“When I first came here I was in the room a lot and then I would just break down and cry, and be like why me, why is this happening. This is unfair,” Bridget says.

But Clare’s story really brings home just how important support and companionship are to a family’s recovery.

“Mum, you’re happy now, we’re happy now, we don’t need Dad.” Clair’s daughter says

I urge you to read this post, enjoy the beautiful illustrations and share it far and wide with others.


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Written by Sandra


What is it like in Bonnie Refuge?

Your room will be ready for you with bedding and linen. If you have left your home quickly, we help with essentials including clothing, food and bathroom items. Children coming to Bonnie’s are given a Bonnie’s backpack with pyjamas, socks, books and fun things to play with.

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